Curbing Your Maintenance & Repair Costs

As an aircraft owner and pilot, one of the first lessons I learned was to understand and adhere to scheduled maintenance. Engines and airframe systems must be serviced and overhauled at specified times and this information must be entered into a log book. Do maintenance and service play a role in your operations as you run your material handling equipment? Do you adhere to the service schedule recommended by the manufacturer? If not, you may be costing yourself a lot more money – both in repair costs and downtime – than is necessary.

The best way to avoid the pain of repairs is to prevent the need for them. You can significantly reduce potential problems by following the maintenance schedule recommended in your owner’s manual. Failing to follow this schedule may void your warranty.

Also, before calling someone in to make repairs, check your owner’s manual. Unusual noises may be perfectly normal and/or easy to fix. Your owner’s manual can help you determine whether a repair is really necessary and whether or not the repairs must be performed by a certified technician to comply with any warranty you might have.

Similar to the aviation industry, you should require your service personnel to maintain a service log for you. A maintenance log is a record of the work that was done previously, by whom and in accordance with the manufacturer’s standard recommendations. As time goes by, it’s easy to forget how long it’s been since the oil was last changed, bearings and chains lubricated, filters replaced and required tensioning and adjustments were performed.

Imagine if you were at a critical point in your operation and a mechanical problem arose. Can you remember when maintenance was last performed and what was accomplished during that maintenance?

The owner’s manual should include a maintenance schedule that makes it easy to set up a log book. Keeping meticulous maintenance records can help you and your technician diagnose and make repairs to your automated equipment more easily. If you are looking for a top-notch repair supplier, be sure to ask if they use maintenance logs in their maintenance process?

A particular customer of ours comes to mind as an excellent example of proper maintenance procedures and maintaining a detailed log book. Because they are experiencing significant growth, it is of the utmost importance that their staff properly manage operations and maintenance in order to avoid serious and costly downtime. Their records are complete and provide an up-to-date status of system uptime and maintenance performed by the organization. The log contains clear trouble and resolution statements and a complete list of parts consumed, as well as the

This type of record keeping has several benefits:

  • Decreased time for troubleshooting and repairs
  • Ease of predicting downtime as a result of an incident
  • Ability to manage spare parts inventory and the order cycle
  • Following proper maintenance procedures and maintaining a detailed and accurate log book may require some effort and attention, but will make your life much easier in the long run

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